Chapter Twenty-three: The Stargate!
[Earth, Cheyenne Mountain, STARGATE COMMAND]
The SG-1 team waited in the disembarkation room, as the co-ordinates for their destination was being dialled in. The controller announced over the loud speaker.
"Chevron 1 Encoded."
[The Uncharted Territories, Moya, Command Area]
Really, really dumb Sheba! Sheba thought as she stood at the strategy berating herself.
The Colonial warrior mentally kicked herself as she waited up in the Command area for John Crichton to arrive. Sheba knew how insecure Aeryn felt about John's willingness to help her to find Earth. Before the Colonial warrior's arrival, John had just about abandoned all hope in getting home, but now that had changed since Sheba was around to cheer him on. But the last thing that the Colonial warrior wanted to do was cause anymore problems between the already strained couple.
"Chevron 2 Encoded."
"You look uneasy, Colonel. Is there a problem?"
"No problem, Major. I'm just get really excited when I'm about to go on a good old fashion rock hunt."
"Lt. Sheba, I'm receiving a transmission from Talyn," Pilot said. "It's Crais, he wishes to speak with John Crichton. He says that it's urgent."
Sheba looked up and moved to stand in front of the clamshell, expressionless. "Let me see him, Pilot."
Pilot's image was instantly replaced by Crais. He eyed Sheba with distaste for a moment before demanding. "Where's Crichton? I must speak to him."
"Chevron 3 Encoded."
"This is more than a simple rock hunt, sir. The crystals we found on P8J 898 actually convert energy from the sun like solar collectors, but ten times greater efficiency than manufactured units do. Add in the fact that they store it with almost no loss for later use and that the people there are more than willing to let us mine for them, and it makes this much more than a simple rock hunt!. If this works out, the crystals could see unlimited use as a clean renewable source of energy."
Daniel snorted. "Sam, I think it's not the rock collecting that has O'Neill bothered. I think it has something to do with a certain native girl on P8J 898 that has him troubled. She has a slight crush on you. Isn't that right, Jack?"
The Colonial warrior frowned. "And a pleasant hello to you too Crais. What is it?"
Crais looked frustrated. "Sheba, I must speak to Crichton, it concerns Scorpius."
"Chevron 4 Encoded."
"It's not a crush, Daniel. It was more like a choke hold."
Teal'c looked towards O'Neil and gave a thoughtful look. "Wasn't her name, Nolanda? However, I don't seem to recall that she inflicted any physical harm on you O'Neill other than the attempts to display her affections."
Jack gave a long suffering sigh. "It was just another figure of speech, Teal'c... and please, don't help them."
"I'm surprised that you remembered my name, Crais. So, what is this about Scorpius?" Sheba faked a yawn.
Crais looked ready to implode. "I don't have time for this. Get me Crichton, now! The entire universe might be at stake you fool!"
"Chevron 5 Encoded."
"Well, she was quite cute, Jack," Daniel said with a grin. "If you like them young."
O'Neil growled under the constant teasing. "Daniel, I'm warning you..."
"The entire universe you say? That is serious." Sheba smirked, pretending to be checking her nails.
Crais had reached his admittedly low limits..."Listen to me you little deficient... "
"Watch your tongue with me, Crais!" Sheba barked.
"Hey!" a new voice interrupted. With Aeryn in tow, John Crichton suddenly walked into Command and continued, "Can't we all just get along?"
"Chevron 6 Encoded."
Major Carter smiled at Jack's discomfort. "Look at the bright side, Colonel. All we have to do is finish negotiating the mining rights for the crystal. After that we're outta there, and the mining teams will take over."
O'Neil sighed. "Major, you should know by now that nothing never goes right without some sort of a hitch. Murphy's Laws never sleep."
"Crichton!" Crais was relieved to see him. "I have news about Scorpius, and the reason why he has stopped pursuing you."
John and Aeryn joined Sheba about the clamshell. "I have been more than a little curious about that for a while myself. Not that I mind him ignoring me, you understand. So Crais, what has gotten old Scorpy's attention that's more interesting than me?"
"He's discovered something major during the Peacekeeper battles with the Goa'uld, when some of the Goa'uld technology fell into Peacekeepers hands." Crais said. "Have you ever heard of something called a Stargate?"
"Chevron 7 Lock!"
The Stargate flared to life.
"Okay, campers," Colonel O'Neill said as he stepped up the ramp towards the rippling energy pool of the gate. "Let's move them out."
The four members of SG-1 entered the stargate and almost instantly they stepped out of the other side on P8J 898, nearly 50 light years from home. They had visited this world almost a week ago and found it to be a very lush and fertile Earth type environment. The inhabitants of this world were friendly, and their technology level was somewhere around humanity's copper age that had existed on Earth long ago.
Major Samantha Carter emerged from the gate alongside Colonel O'Neill first and almost tripped over something on the stargate platform. It took her a second to realize it was a corpse.
"Oh, My God!" she thought as she tried to recover her bearings from the journey through the stargate. To make matters worse, she soon noticed that the clearing about the gate was littered with even more bodies of this world's inhabitants. Perhaps in the hundreds.
"Damn it!" O'Neill cursed in disgust at the slaughter before him. Now on full combat alert he brought up his P-90, switching the safety off. Sam, Daniel and Teal'c did likewise, their training taking over.
The SG-1 team slowly moved away from the gate in leapfrog fashion, covering each other's positions. The entire area reeked of death. Sam cautiously knelt down and checked one of the male bodies, inspecting his injuries, and finding a burnt mark through his shirt.
The Major frowned. "This doesn't look like something that was done by a Goa'uld staff weapon, but it's definitely an energy weapon of some sort."
"I concur," Teal'c said, checking another body. "The wounds were not made from any Goa'uld weapon that I know of."
Daniel moved further ahead, checking the bodies for any sign of survivors. The corpses were relatively fresh. What had happened here had occurred not too long ago. As he went, he realized something about the positioning of the bodies.
Daniel's face was drawn in disgust. "Jack, most of these people were shot in the back. They were trying to run away!"
It was then Daniel heard a faint cry from a nearby brush and he moved quickly to investigate.
"Daniel, wait!" O'Neill shouted as he watched the archaeologist move further from the safety of the group. The remaining three members chased after him while continuing to scan their surroundings alertly.
Rounding the tall bush, O'Neill, Teal'c and Sam saw Daniel kneeling down next to an injured figure. Stepping closer, O'Neill recognized her as Nolanda. Daniel was checking her injuries.
Daniel looked up at O'Neil and grimaced. "She's in bad shape, Jack. We have to get her back to the SGC if we're going to save her."
O'Neill, nodded. "Carter, start dialing for home."
As Sam left, Teal'c took position to stand guard with his staff weapon at the ready, watching their backs as O'Neill and Daniel tried to move Nolanada.
Suddenly, she fully became conscious. "O'Neill, Daniel... You came."
"Take it easy, Nolanada," O'Neill said to her gently. "We're going to get you help."
The young woman reached for him, taking hold of his arm. "They came through the Chappa'ai... We thought they were you until we saw... the demon leading them."
"Demon?" Daniel whispered.
"He had Humans obeying his every command." Nolanda said weakly. "The demon wanted information... about the Chappa'ai. When we told him that we knew nothing, he had his troops open fire."
"Nolanada," O'Neill reached down and took her hand into his, asking gently. "Who did this?"
"I don't know, but the demon called himself... Scorpius."
Be Continued In Part Two...